Do you have to take the breathalyzer test? What happens if you refuse? These kinds of questions are asked every day by people who get charged with a drinking and driving. Sobriety tests themselves can be quite complicated, so this blog guide will help you understand how sobriety tests work, what rights you have, and how you can avoid major charges.
Do you have to take the breathalyzer?
While some tests you do not have to take, as no law says you must, the breathalyzer test is something you can be punished for denying. All states have laws in place where if you refuse a breathalyzer you can have your license suspended and risk other penalties.
Are breath tests 100% accurate?
No, breath tests are subject to human error. Therefore, if you fail one, it’s not always accurate. The majority of the time the breath test is correct, but the blood test is technically much more accurate. The problem with breath tests is the fact there is no difference whether you are 120 lbs or 220 lbs, nor if you’re a man or woman. Also, the officer may incorrectly operate the breathalyzer.
Do you have to take the blood test?
Yes, you must also take the blood alcohol tests. These have similar charges if you refuse them as breathalyzer tests. Blood tests are the most accurate form of sobriety test available. They too are subject to error, as is any test, but it’s very rare. If you fail both a breathalyzer and blood test, you may be in trouble.
Do you have to take other sobriety tests?
Other sobriety tests are quite often optional. There are no laws stating you have to walk in a straight line, or say the alphabet backwards, or count down in some way. These are all optional. If you are unsure, ask the officer if you must by law take this test. Rarely if ever are these field tests mandatory.
What happens if you fail and are charged?
If you fail a breathalyzer and/or blood test, you can be charged with a DUI. It depends on how many offenses you have received. Even first time offenses can be quite damaging, but of course they are less tough on you than multiple DUI charges. A first time offense often means you will get your license suspended for six months to a year, you may face some jail time, you may be fined, among other penalties. If you get further DUI charges, you risk getting a felony, which means a longer license suspension, more jail time, and bigger fines.
Who can help?
If you are charged with a drinking and driving, it’s not the end of the world, but it’s a serious charge. It may be the toughest legal battle you have to fight in your lifetime. Therefore, you need proper help, and that means hiring an experienced DUI lawyer. It’s his or her job to fight for your rights. There may have been mistakes in the arrest. The breath test may have been wrong. You may have proof you were not intoxicated. If you were drinking, you might think pleading guilty is a good idea. Pleading guilty is rarely a good idea when charged with drinking and driving. Hire a DUI lawyer and make no decisions yourself.